A Dangerous Game: Part I

January 17th, 2016 No Comments

The Politics of Cultural Identity in Macau.            The New Year provides an opportunity to review recent developments in China that are worth noting. Premier Xi Jinping continues a series of purges of corrupt party officials, as he asserts territorial rights in the South China Sea, and devalues the Yuan. Some of these initiatives have not only effected the world economy, but had impacts on China’s two Special Administrative Regions. Hong Kong remains politically uncertain, due in


Macau’s Culture as an Economic Asset

October 21st, 2015 No Comments

(The published article with more information is located HERE) Unlike the west, culture and economic development in China are not mutually exclusive. In Macau’s case, both can involve tourism, entertainment, media, education, and international business. My own research has shown that the attraction may also encompass social and familial connections. An analogy might be a car owner who is interested in hybrids, then expands his or her horizons by buying a Tesla. In other words, an interest in Macau’s cultural history often leads


FarEastCurrents Endorses Jose Coutinho

September 30th, 2015 No Comments

In the four years since I founded Far East Currents and began posting my research on the web, there have been numerous supporters and advocates. One of the most prominent has been Jose’ Pereira Coutinho, a member of the Macau Assembly. Mr. Coutinho is now the recipient of Far East Current’s first official endorsement for a seat in the Portuguese Parliament representing external Portuguese communities, which include Macanese around the world. I encourage all Macanese who hold a Portuguese passport or


Macanese Vote in Portuguese Parliament

September 22nd, 2015 No Comments

Rita Santos, President of the Macau Civil Servants Association (AFTPM), provides an instructional video in support of candidates for “We, Citizens!” In the list is the head candidate for the Portuguese Parliament by the Portuguese Communities outside Europe, José Maria Pereira Coutinho.


Macanese Families in Context – Part 2

August 31st, 2015 1 Comment

(Revised Version – 10-14-2015) … Continuing with our study of a Macanese family, the following article outlines Josephine Castro’s maternal side beginning with her earliest known relatives. Along with individual variants, such as settlement outside Macau and involvement in trade and government service, we also see a tendency to transfer cultural patterns in family size, location, and employment to new generations. …  The de Aquino Family (also known as d’Aquino) The earliest recorded relative of Maria Amelia de Aquino, Josephine Castro’s


Macanese Families in Context – Part 1

August 15th, 2015 6 Comments

To illustrate how genealogical and personal information about individual Macanese or a group of families might be understood in historical context (as outlined before), let’s look at an example of a woman interviewed in 2011. In the process of reviewing her family history, we will highlight several precedents indicated by the data, including evidence of different migrations over several generations, ethnic diversity suggested by countries of origin, religious affiliations, and other details such as family size, frequency of marriage, work histories, and social


A Macanese Historical Narrative

August 12th, 2015 No Comments

Sometimes when I get too involved in my research I forget about the steps it takes to connect different bits of information together to make sense of it all. These steps make up the construction of what others have called a “historical narrative”. As the term implies, this is the “story” of historical events, developmental trends, patterns, and personal experiences that make up any series of years, decades, or even centuries that relate to a specific area of study. Historical


Tome’ Pires: Chronicler of Asia

August 4th, 2015 No Comments

The following is an excerpt from a longer study on the Portuguese in India and Asia written from the perspective of an early chronicler, the 16th century diplomat Tome’ Pires. As the first Portuguese ambassador to China, Pires has the unique distinction of being one for the first Europeans to describe the early years in Goa and China. Tome’ Pires (1468 – 1540)[i] was perhaps least likely to become one of Europe’s earliest Asian chroniclers. Although he proved to be a keen


Far East Currents July 2015 Highlights

June 29th, 2015 No Comments

The last few weeks have been a busy time, so I hope you will forgive the absence of updates until now. Recently, several events have occurred that will have a significant impact on the future of Far East Currents. Please be assured that this is NOT a farewell notice: I will be continuing the research for the foreseeable future. So the “news” I am about to announce can only be classified as good. In fact, in most cases, it’s “great news”.


Part 4 – Tome Pires’ Exile in China and the Emergence of Racially-Mixed Cultures

April 28th, 2015 No Comments

This is the fourth and final part of a study on sixteenth century Goa and the Portuguese trading empire, which will serve as an introduction to the settlement of Macau in the last half of the century. The complete chapter with source citations (part of an upcoming book) will be posted and linked to this article shortly. In some respects, Tome Pires’ exile in 1521 can be seen as both an end to Portugal’s first attempt to expand trade to China,


Part 3 – Goa under the Portuguese and the Fate of Tome’ Pires

April 2nd, 2015 No Comments

Following Goa’s capture in November 1510, the city and most of coastal India were transformed by Portuguese wealth and the policies of the colonial “Estado da India”. The terms of the royal monopoly under which the Estado governed not only determined who was permitted to travel on Portuguese ships to the Indies, but how trading privileges in Goa were to be distributed. As a result, Goan society was largely organized according to those priorities. The upper ranks were occupied by Portuguese settlers divided among


Part 2 – The Effects of Portuguese Trade on Europe and Asia

March 23rd, 2015 No Comments

In the century after Portuguese discoveries in Africa, Brazil, India, Indo-China, and Southeast Asia, from 1500 to 1600, Portuguese carracks traveled from the principal ports of Lisbon and Oporto, around the Cape of Good Hope, up the eastern coast of Africa, and across the Indian Ocean to Goa. Counting the return to Portugal, a typical voyage often took up to two years to complete. Despite the rhetoric of some early accounts, the driving force behind the Portuguese settlement of Western India was


Part 1 – Tome’ Pires and Portuguese Colonialism: 1511-1540

March 19th, 2015 2 Comments

The following is an introduction to a longer article I’m writing on Portuguese colonialism in Western India from the perspective of Tome’ Pires, an early participant and chronicler. The study looks at the way European trade and wealth restructured Goan society, creating the foundations of Luso-Asian culture that developed throughout Southeast Asia in the 16th century. Future sections of the article will appear in installments in the coming days. ……. There may be no more appropriate representative of Portuguese Asia during its early


Family Networks, Diasporas, (Part II and Conclusion)

February 2nd, 2015 No Comments

Let us now focus on the historical settings in which family networks developed. Family Networks in Goa.  By the late 16th century the population of Goa numbered about 200,000. Only about 200 casados, mostly New Christian traders, legally participated in trade. Among those fewer than ten families dominated. It is also estimated that a much larger number of soldiers and local people, from one to three thousand, also traded illegally in Goa on a much lower level. Several thousand other


Family Networks, Diasporas, and the Origins of the Macanese in Asia: Part 1

January 26th, 2015 No Comments

I recently posted a revised study on Macanese families at Academia.edu. The article is serialized here in two parts. The complete set of notes and citations can be found in the Academia version. Here’s Part I. Part II will follow shortly. Please feel free to send me any comments. Introduction Sociologists often refer to the family as the basic unit of society, a place where, in the words of Emil Durkheim, “ways of acting are reinforced by practice … called customs, laws,


Far East Currents in 2014

December 15th, 2014 No Comments

Thanks to our many partners, Far East Currents and the Portuguese-Macanese Studies Project network have had a very successful year. Here’s a quick overview of activities and the current status of our research at the end of 2014. Thank you for supporting our work and Happy Holidays. Total Macanese Population: 1.5 million world-wide (2014) Based on current research, including the findings of genealogist Dr. Jorge Forjaz, the results of the 2012 and 2013 Family Surveys conducted by the University of California,


University of Macau Lecture

November 13th, 2014 No Comments

  I recently gave a lecture at the University of Macau (a Special Administrative Region of China) entitled: “Researching the Macanese”. The university just moved to a new $2 billion campus at Hengqin. Here’s a link to provide more information about the campus, which I visited for the first time in late 2013. http://www.umac.mo/new_campus_project/


Walking into Macau’s History

November 5th, 2014 No Comments

Walking through downtown Macau, a bustling city of 600,000, between the high rises and seemingly endless traffic, the tendency is to stay in the shadows to minimize the stifling humidity. If you allow those elements to overwhelm the senses, the old neighborhood is easy to miss. Google maps may give hints, but you only realize its presence and significance when you are on foot. Then walking past the last building, I noticed the curve of an ancient shoreline, so I


Macanese Migrations – Shanghai

October 15th, 2014 2 Comments

In contrast to Hong Kong, 19th century Shanghai was considered an “open” and international city. Well aware of restrictions under British rule, some Macanese resettled in Shanghai only a few years after working in Hong Kong. Others simply bypassed the British colony and migrated directly from Macau. As a commercial port secured under the 1842 Treaty of Nanjing (Nanking), Shanghai offered foreigners, primarily British, French, American, Portuguese, and later Japanese, virtually unrestricted commercial concessions and full sovereign rights. By the


Macanese Migrations – Hong Kong

October 8th, 2014 No Comments

Here’s the next installment of the Migration study, this time we concentrate on the Hong Kong community. Citation placements are designated by (*). … Hong Kong –  Within two decades following the Treaty of Nanking in 1842, Macau began to suffer from a sharp decline in trade and the movement of merchants and traders to Hong Kong and other ports. Reports of Macau’s decline were widely reported in the international press and was responsible for a steady migration of Macanese


Macanese Migrations – Japan

October 8th, 2014 No Comments

Continuing on the theme of Macanese migrations and cultural development, this next installment looks at settlements in Japan up the 20th century. The next two essays, which will appear shortly after, will be on Macanese communities in Hong Kong and Shanghai, followed by shorter articles on Bangkok and other Asian settlements. The final section will consider the issue of cultural identity as many Macanese migrated back to Macau during World War II. As before, the (*) indicate where future source citations will


Macanese Migrations and Family Practices

September 19th, 2014 1 Comment

Here’s the next installment of the article on Macanese migrations. This time I discuss unconventional ways in which many families were formed to provide some background to the evolution of communities in different locations. Again, the source citations are not included, but will be added to the published version.  I’ve placed a symbol ( * ) to indicate where they belong.  During their history, the Macanese embarked on four principal migrations, the earliest of which followed Portuguese trade: Portugal to Goa (1485 – 1557), Goa to Macau (1557


Patterns of Macanese Migrations, Cultural Development, and Identity

September 8th, 2014 4 Comments

Links between Macanese migrations from Goa and Macau, Macanese culture, and  cultural identity provide examples of how ethnicity in colonial settings developed. This new branch of diaspora studies suggests that previous observations by scholars in Europe and Asia may have relevance to our understanding of the Macanese and their roles in spanning the historical divide between east and west. * Introduction The history of Macau and its people is also the history of Macanese culture as it developed during several


Macanese Migrations and Culture

August 5th, 2014 No Comments

What are the links between Macanese Migrations, Culture, and Identity? … Despite long held beliefs that the Macanese originated only from Macau, or that they are the descendants of a few “great” families, or that the community and its culture are on the verge of extinction, new historical evidence paints a very different picture. By analyzing the genealogies, diaries, and histories of several families, some from the 12th century, we learn that racially mixed Portuguese descendants migrated along trade routes between Europe and Asia


Remembering the Bela Vista

July 11th, 2014 3 Comments

Submitted by Raquel de Carvalho Remedios …  It was Monday morning, December 8, 1941 and our amah, Ah Say, was trying her best to get my sister Rosa and me dressed and ready for school.  I was five and Rosa four and we were in kindergarten at St Mary’s School, Chatham Road, Kowloon, a short distance from our flat on Salisbury Avenue.   As we were about to leave for school, my grandmother, Avó Genie, telephoned to say that there was

Page 1 of 512345»
%d bloggers like this: